The Port of Mackay has recorded its second-best results for financial year trade throughput after topping three million tonnes despite the global economic impact of COVID-19.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey made the announcement, with the port recording 3.17 million throughput tonnes in 2019-20, supporting jobs and industry in the region.
“COVID-19 has impacted global economies and Queensland hasn’t been immune,” Mr Bailey said.
“What we’ve seen at our ports, however, is that thanks to a strong health response we’ve been able to continue facilitating trade.
“And because Queensland continues to manage the health response, it means we are well placed to continue implementing our plan for economic recovery, which includes investing in Mackay and our ports.”
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said it had been an encouraging year for break bulk cargo at Mackay in particular, with strong appeal for agricultural and mining-related cargo.
“In 2019-20 we had 11 Roll-on-Roll off (RORO) vessels stop at the port. In total, 96,000 of throughput tonnes of break bulk cargo came through the port destined for both Central Queensland and beyond,” she said.
“This total is more than 30,000 tonnes up on the 2018-19 financial year. What is most encouraging, is the diversity we’re seeing in the type of cargo coming through the port from destinations including North America, Europe and across Australia.”
The 3.17 million tonnes is just shy of the 2012-13 record of 3.29 million tonnes. For petroleum, it was a record high year, with 1.67 million tonnes (two billion litres) of fuel trade facilitated through the port.
New laydown and washdown facility
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation chief executive officer Nicolas Fertin said NQBP’s strategy had been to gear the port up further in the early months of this financial year.
“In November last year, we announced $2.8 million in upgrades for a new laydown and washdown facility and service improvements to move 760m powerlines underground to improve the flow of trade through Mackay. We’re pleased that these projects are nearing completion,” he said.
The 2400sq m laydown and dual washdown facility will extend the original footprint operated by Northern Stevedoring Services (NSS) to assist the washing down and storage of imported goods subject to biosecurity controls.
“We hope this facility will give even more confidence to mining and agriculture machinery businesses interested in using the Port of Mackay to import goods from international origins,” Mr Fertin said.
“This investment is also ensuring we’re staying on the front foot to protect the vital central Queensland agriculture industry from biosecurity risks.
“Thanks to NSS and CMX Global Logistics (on behalf of Emeco) we were able to test this infrastructure with the washing down of five Caterpillar 789C haul trucks, each weighing more than 115 tonnes.”
The trucks, previously utilised in the Bowen Basin, will be shipped domestically to be re-deployed in Western Australia.